From releasing new and inventive pop music (his latest album Bloodline is revolutionary) to continuing to advocate for a multitude of LGBT causes, singer Ben Hazlewood continues to both captivate fans and engage his community. While his social passions focus on mental health & causes like Amnesty International, Hazlewood’s music continues offering fans a new take on pop music from this Down Under wonder. I sat down to chat with Hazlewood about his latest offering Bloodline and how he merges fashion with his musical tastes, and why there is never not a time to speak up.
Michael Cook: Tell me about the song “Revelry”; you have set a high bar for yourself after Bloodline is so highly praised.
Ben Hazlewood: Well, I’m super grateful for all the support and amazing feedback I have received since the release. Bloodline has been a lot of work and I am so happy to finally see it out there in the world. “Revelry” is about me trying to numb an internal pain and realizing how much of a hold some of those moments have had over me. It is a fraught retelling of the many failed attempts to escape these actions which I knew inherently, were self destructive.
MC: The music video for “Revelry” is both revolutionary and timely. Tell me about the thinking behind it and what it was like filming it.
BH: We actually came up with the concept on a group Zoom call. My team and I were virtually celebrating the release of Bloodline when we thought that a Zoom call involving a group of people dancing and drinking alone and having some animation between them to link it all together would be a great way to tell the story of the song and what everyone was feeling during that time in lockdown.
MC: Your passion for music is definitely a family affair, as both of your parents had a background in performance. How do you think that helped craft you into the performer that you are?
BH: It was amazing growing up with a performance being a part of our daily lives. All of my family were, and still are, very encouraging of what I do. It was wonderful to be exposed to so many different types of performing arts from such a young age.
MC: Fashion has always been something that is a big part of your career; how would you describe your own personal style? Why do you think you have been considered a “fashion /music crossover artist?
BH: I am really inspired by the 70’s rock and roll era and all the emerging freedoms of thinking that came with it. Fashion is a true passion of mine and is very deliberate in anything I create visually.
MC: You come from a long line of outspoken artists that you yourself are inspired by, like Joplin and Bowie. Where does your outspoken nature stem from?
BH: For me, it comes from times in my past that I had chosen to stay silent or that someone had made me stay silent. Now, having dealt with that, there is no way I would ever choose to not speak up. I made a promise to myself that I would always speak my mind and fight for what I believe is right.
MC: Everyone has their dream collaboration list; who are some of the artists on yours that you would love to work with?
BH: I would love to work with Stevie Nicks. She is incredible! Also, other amazing artists that I respect so much, like Maggie Rogers or LAUREL.
MC: How have you managed to stay inspired during quarantine?
BH: I have been really lucky to be able to continue to write and record in the studio. Lockdown has been difficult, but I have had some amazing experiences. It has opened up a different world of talented creative people that maybe I wouldn’t have had the chance to work with otherwise.
MC: What would the performer now tell the budding performing walking into his first audition to The Voice-Australia?
BH: Grind hard. Don’t stop. You are a force!
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